Planning Cycle Infrastructure by Using Simulations in VISSIM

Planning Cycle Infrastructure by Using Simulations in VISSIM


Søren Frost, COWI


The Municipality of Copenhagen wants to be the World’s best city for cyclists. The Municipality has initiated a project to make the simulation of cyclists more realistically, so planning of the Cycle infrastructure can be improved by using VISSIM


Planning Cycle Infrastructure by using Simulations in VISSIM

To improve the planning of the Cycle infrastructure by using the microscopic simulation software VISSIM.

The Municipality of Copenhagen has a vision, to be the World’s best city for cyclists. To reach this goal the Municipality needs some tools to find out which projects, so the cyclists can get the best improvement for the available money. So the Municipality wanted a microscopic simulation tool which should help the Municipality by planning the Cycle Infrastructure in Copenhagen. But at the moment none of the existing microscopic simulation tool could provide proper results for cyclist. Cyclists were only used in VISSIM as an inhibitor of other road users (especially cars and heavy traffic). So the Municipality decided to by using existing knowledge and experience from the latest studies of cyclists' behavior The Municipality of Copenhagen, supported by the Danish Road Directorate, has initiated a project that will examine which key parameters can be adjusted in VISSIM, in order to improve the simulation of cyclists more realistically.
Ramboll advises the municipality on this project, and as an introduction a workshop was held with participants from Copenhagen, Ramboll and Bikeability project at LIFE. Subsequently, there have been meetings with, among others Danish Road Directorate and PTV. The aim was to identify key parameters that affect cyclists flow and accessibility for use in simulation software.
From a public tender COWI was chosen to undertake further tests, including cyclist speeds, overtaking patterns, behavior at stop-lights, waiting zones and right turns at a red light. The methods will mainly be counts, video documentation and for the first time experiments with Bluetooth detection of cyclists as well as the use of existing knowledge and literature. Thereupon the results will be calibrated and finally translated into general values and recommendations for future simulations in VISSIM.

When the project was completed, it resulted in an innovation that can be used generally in simulations of new projects in major cities with a certain amount of bicycle traffic - both for specific bike projects, but also for better simulations of all kinds of projects where cyclists move in large quantities. Until now a partial result that the main parameters of cyclist behavior selected.
PTV, the provider of the microscopic simulation software VISSIM was a part of the project and has incorporated several of the results in the software.
The Municipality of Copenhagen has used VISSIM with the parameter settings for cyclist in several projects in the City. COWI’s experience from cyclist projects where the simulation of cyclist in VISSIM has been a part project will also be presented.


Association for European Transport